Get Your Boots On

This poem will probably only hit home to those of a certain age and who were “fortunate” enough to be Compound men.  The phrase became part of our every day speak particularly in the early days of political status when we seemed to have showdowns with virtually everyone.  Even now nearly forty years later I would hear some of the auld hands joke about getting their boots on.

 

Get Your Boots On!!

The shout goes up, in a crowded hut–and panic stations begin
Get to the gate—stand up straight, and don’t let the bastards in
It’s bed ends out and bellies in and stand in rows of ten
Never in doubt, when you heard the shout—Get Your Boots On men!!

 

Was the Provies first and the Stickies next-could be screws the very next day
It was Soldiers next and we took some shit and then it was the UDA
You always knew what you had to do and you done it again and again,
Never in doubt, when you heard the shout—Get Your Boots On men!!

 

In seventy four we could do no more—there were protests every day
No clean sheets-stopped the visits for weeks and suffered along the way
There were food protests-with just no rest-we were in the lion’s den
Never in doubt, when you heard the shout—Get Your Boots On men!!

 

Stand to, Stand Down or Stand on your fucking head
When the Brits smashed in with a terrible din you wished that you were dead
Just when you thought that it was all forgot, you took a break—and then
Never in doubt, when you heard the shout—Get Your Boots On men!!

 

The protests ceased and got our heads some peace and morale got higher and higher
October came with the autumn rain and the Provies started a fire
So it was back once more—on the floor-Stand by your beds—and then
Never in doubt, when you heard the shout—Get Your Boots On men!!

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One Response to Get Your Boots On

  1. Charlie Freel

    Amusing now, but the only thing funny back then was the sight of the screws running to get out of the compound, as soon as they heard that famous aul battle cry ringing round the compound. Unfortunately many of the Ulster Volunteers from these confrontations are no longer with us, many have died young and long before their time, others are still suffering from the physical and mental scars of these confrontations, I myself lost a kidney courtesy of the British Army. Where we victims? NO BLOODY WAY, we were Ulster Volunteers, our proud boost was, “No statements, No regrets, No surrender.” We will leave genuine victimhood to the genuinely innocent victims of the troubles, and we will leave self ordained farsical victimhood to the Easter Sunday IRA soldiers, who quickly revert back to self ordained victimhood for the remainder of the year. The sad truth is, that if the Loyalist Working Class dont hurry up and get their boots on, there will be nothing left to fight for.